The inspectors had previously discussed the results of extensive tests on the recourse question. Volkswagen stated that the two former top managers will now be “sued for damages for breaches of stock corporation law”. It was not initially clear what financial extent the claims could have. In the case of other VW board members, however, no violations were found.
The subject of the investigation was whether Winterkorn, Stadler and possibly also other executives at the time were to be accused of negligent management and control failures before the affair was discovered in September 2015 – which ultimately enabled or at least could not have prevented the manipulation of millions of diesel cars worldwide. The law firm Gleiss Lutz advised the VW supervisory board on this topic and presented its final report this week.
A central finding: Winterkorn failed to explain the background to the use of impermissible software functions in 2.0-liter TDI diesel engines in the years 2009 to 2015 were sold in the North American market to provide immediate and comprehensive information ”. In addition, he did not ensure that “questions posed by the US authorities in this connection are promptly and truthfully and completely answered”.
Regarding Stadler’s case, the company stated that from the end of September 2016 it had failed to ensure that larger diesel engines developed by Audi – they were also installed in VW Pkw and Porsche cars – “are examined with regard to inadmissible software functions” . According to the information, claims for damages against the ex-managers Ulrich Hackenberg, Stefan Knirsch and Wolfgang Hatz should also be asserted for the subsidiaries Audi and Porsche. It was said that this had already happened with the former VW head of development, Heinz-Jakob Neußer.
Winterkorn resigned from his position as VW boss a good five and a half years ago, shortly after the emissions scandal was uncovered by US authorities and scientists. He had emphasized that he was not aware of any wrongdoing. However, the VW supervisory board continued to pursue possible claims for damages. During the proceedings, he had stated several times that the examination of liability claims against former or incumbent board members was “extensive”. One acts here without reservation and without regard to the person.
Winterkorn will also be on trial because of the emissions scandal. In mid-September, the trial against him and four other executives, some of whom were former executives, for suspected commercial and gang fraud is to begin in Braunschweig. The district court recently postponed the start because of the corona situation. Stadler is already standing in front of the Munich district court because of a possible joint responsibility for the manipulated exhaust gas values.
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Diesel scandal compensation Winterkorn Stadler economy